Wrens (Troglodytidae)

Donacobius (Donacobius atricapilla) - HBW 10, p. 447

French: Donacobe à miroir German: Rohrspottdrossel Spanish: Angú
Other common names: Black-capped Donacobius, Black-capped Mockingthrush

Taxonomy: Turdus[] atricapilla Linnaeus, 1766, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa; error = Brazil.
Taxonomy long disputed: has frequently been thought to belong in family Mimidae, arguments for which treatment include large size, morphology (long tail, short rounded wings, heavy feet and legs), open cup-nest, and rambunctious and extroverted behaviour; in contrast, its well-developed social structure (with duetting vocalizations and mutual display) is very reminiscent of some troglodytids, notably in genus Campylorhynchus, in addition to which anatomical studies argue in favour of placement in present family; recent DNA studies, however, strongly suggest that this species is neither .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Turdus[] atricapilla Linnaeus, 1766, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa; error = Brazil.
Taxonomy long disputed: has frequently been thought to belong in family Mimidae, arguments for which treatment include large size, morphology (long tail, short rounded wings, heavy feet and legs), open cup-nest, and rambunctious and extroverted behaviour; in contrast, its well-developed social structure (with duetting vocalizations and mutual display) is very reminiscent of some troglodytids, notably in genus Campylorhynchus, in addition to which anatomical studies argue in favour of placement in present family; recent DNA studies, however, strongly suggest that this species is neither a mimid nor a troglodytid, but an aberrant “sylvioid”, a group that includes the babblers (Timaliidae) and the Old World warblers (Sylviidae). Species name often erroneously emended to atricapillus, but atricapilla is a Latin noun and is thus invariable. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • brachypterus Madarász, 1913 - Panama (E Darién) and NW Colombia (E to Santa Marta region, S to N Tolima).
  • atricapilla (Linnaeus, 1766) - N Venezuela, the Guianas, most of Brazil, Paraguay and extreme NE Argentina.
  • nigrodorsalis Traylor, 1948 - S & SE Colombia, E Ecuador and E Peru (S to Madre de Dios).
  • albovittatus d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837 - SW Brazil (Acre) S to N & E Bolivia (Beni, E Cochabamba, Santa Cruz).